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The A-List: 20 Players With New York Star Power

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By Daniel Friedman
» More Columns

As far as professional sports is concerned, New York is the biggest stage in the country and arguably on the planet. Stars tend to want to play here, even despite the pressure that comes with the territory. Here are the 20 current athletes in the region with the most star power:

Honorable Mention: Brook Lopez (Nets), Nick Mangold (Jets), Victor Cruz (Giants), D’Brickashaw Ferguson (Jets), Jason Pierre-Paul (Giants)

20. Patrik Elias, Devils

Devils forward Patrik Elias (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Patrik Elias (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

He might just be the most underrated star player in the NHL, not to mention the N.Y./N.J. metro area. Elias played a major role in a handful of Stanley Cup runs and has been an incredibly consistent point producer throughout his entire career.

19. Mark Teixeira, Yankees

Mark Teixeira (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Mark Teixeira (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Teixeira’s health has always been an issue, as have his slow starts. That said, he helped the Yankees win a World Series in 2009, and he recorded at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs during each of his first three seasons in the Bronx.

18. Martin St. Louis, Rangers

Martin St. Louis (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Martin St. Louis (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

A relatively new arrival, St. Louis slowly but surely made his mark as a key piece to the Rangers’ puzzle, coming through in the playoffs amidst the news that his mother had passed away. He was the NHL’s leading scorer a year ago and is one of the elite players in the game.

17. Thierry Henry, Red Bulls

Thierry Henry (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Thierry Henry (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

New York isn’t necessarily known as a soccer town, but that’s starting to change. The sport is increasing in popularity, as are the Red Bulls, and Henry — a former Barcelona and Arsenal star — is a major reason why.

16. Rick Nash, Rangers

Rick Nash (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Rick Nash (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Nash came with much fanfare, though the results haven’t been good enough. He’s a star presence and therefore garners a ton of attention either way. That’s what happens when you’re a five-time All-Star and former Maurice Richard Trophy (most goals) winner who comes to the Big Apple.

15. Kevin Garnett, Nets

Kevin Garnett (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Kevin Garnett (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Along with Paul Pierce, Garnett signified the new era of Brooklyn basketball and the swagger that came with it. He’s past his prime, but his presence alone is big enough to make this list.

14. CC Sabathia, Yankees

CC Sabathia (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

CC Sabathia (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Sabathia may never be an impact pitcher again, but fans will always remember his role in helping the Yanks win it all in ’09.

13. Jaromir Jagr, Devils

Jaromir Jagr (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Jaromir Jagr (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

One of the better players in NHL history, he’s left quite a legacy around here. Jagr was outstanding as a Ranger and is still kicking at age 42, having racked up 67 points for the Devils last season.

12. Deron Williams, Nets

Deron Williams (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

Deron Williams (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

“D-Will” hasn’t quite been up to par recently, but he’s still viewed as a star-caliber player and the fans expect him to perform like one.

11. Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees

Masahiro Tanaka (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Masahiro Tanaka (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Tanaka made quite an impression before going down with an injury, but one thing is for certain: The man can pitch.

10. Matt Harvey, Mets

Matt Harvey (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Matt Harvey (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

You can find him at Rangers games or hanging out with Jimmy Fallon. You can even find him hanging out at Rangers games with Jimmy Fallon. He’s recovering from surgery but was the most exciting young pitcher in baseball up to that point. Hopefully, for Mets fans, he will be again next year.

9. Amar’e Stoudemire, Knicks

Amar'e Stoudemire (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Amar’e Stoudemire (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Never mind his performance or health — Stoudemire is the reason why the Knicks are relevant again. He signed with them at a time when they were struggling to attract players of his caliber.

8. John Tavares, Islanders

Islanders captain John Tavares  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

John Tavares (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Tavares is the face of the Islanders and one of the top forwards in the NHL right now. Even if you’re not a hockey fan, you’ve probably heard of him. He’s one of the best athletes in New York and, when the Isles move to Brooklyn in 2015, he’ll really be in the spotlight.

7. Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers

Henrik Lundqvist (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Henrik Lundqvist (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Arguably the best goaltender in the NHL, Lundqvist is the biggest reason why the Rangers made it to the Stanley Cup Final this year. He’s approaching Mike Richter status in NYC.

6. Carmelo Anthony, Knicks

Carmelo Anthony (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Carmelo Anthony (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Whether they’re criticizing him for his selfish play or praising him, New York sports fans can’t stop talking about Melo. He’s the premier basketball player in this city — love him or hate him.

5. Martin Brodeur, Devils

Martin Brodeur (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Martin Brodeur (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Though technically a free agent now, Brodeur was a Devil his entire career and will always be remembered as one. Some will tell you he’s the best goaltender in NHL history, but even those who feel otherwise would probably admit that he’s in the top three or top five.

4. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees

Alex Rodriguez (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Alex Rodriguez (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

A-Rod is on this list for all the wrong reasons. But regardless, his situation is often a topic of conversation in this town.We’ll never leave him alone and will always be watching for what he does next.

3. David Wright, Mets

David Wright (credit: Getty Images)

David Wright (credit: Getty Images)

There haven’t been many bright spots for the Mets the past few years, but Wright has stuck with the program through thick and thin. He’s a star player, a fan favorite and a highly-respected athlete in New York.

2. Eli Manning, Giants

Eli Manning (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Eli Manning (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

When you give NYC two Super Bowl parades, people are going to like you. More importantly, they’re going to raise their expectations and demand perfection from you. Around here, Eli Manning is football.

1. Derek Jeter, Yankees

Derek Jeter (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Derek Jeter (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

He just passed Carl Yaztrzemski on the all-time hits list, as if the rest of his career accomplishments weren’t enough. He was the homegrown star, the captain of the Yankees during a golden age and a model citizen. Jeter is the most iconic sports figure in New York, and there’s nothing else I can say that properly accentuates his impact.

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